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Lyr Req: One Meat Ball (Burl Ives)

DigiTrad:
ONE MEATBALL
ONE MEATBALL (2)
THE LONE FISH BALL


Related threads:
'One Fish Ball' - Il Pescaballo: Opera in One Act (12)
(origins) Origins: One Meatball - blues song (42)
Lyr Req: One Meat Ball / One Meatball (Josh White) (22)
Lyr Req: One Meatball / Lone Fish-Ball (21)
Lyr Req: One Meat Ball (answered)^^^ (2) (closed)


Bill Butcher, McLean, VA 16 Feb 99 - 04:31 PM
Bill Butcher 16 Feb 99 - 04:37 PM
Bruce O. 16 Feb 99 - 05:20 PM
harpgirl 16 Feb 99 - 05:36 PM
Roger in Baltimore 16 Feb 99 - 07:56 PM
rich r 16 Feb 99 - 08:27 PM
Ferrara 17 Feb 99 - 09:21 AM
Joe Offer 30 May 99 - 03:59 AM
Roger in Baltimore 30 May 99 - 08:10 AM
Easy Rider 09 Jun 99 - 11:22 AM
woody 09 Jun 99 - 09:10 PM
woody 09 Jun 99 - 09:14 PM
murray@mpce.mq.edu.au 10 Jun 99 - 07:56 AM
GUEST,thasting1@home.com 26 Feb 01 - 10:33 PM
GUEST,Bruce O. 27 Feb 01 - 02:32 AM
GUEST,fox4zero 27 Feb 01 - 03:48 AM
GUEST,Roll&Go-C 27 Feb 01 - 01:15 PM
Tiger 27 Feb 01 - 06:26 PM
Tiger 01 Apr 01 - 12:53 PM
Mudlark 01 Apr 01 - 02:31 PM
GUEST,Roll&Go-C 01 Apr 01 - 05:40 PM
Stewie 01 Apr 01 - 06:53 PM
simon-pierre 01 Apr 01 - 09:51 PM
Joe_F 14 Dec 01 - 07:35 PM
RoyH (Burl) 15 Dec 01 - 12:31 PM
Ned Ludd 15 Dec 01 - 05:19 PM
Susan of DT 15 Dec 01 - 11:52 PM
Green Man 16 Dec 01 - 04:23 AM
Herga Kitty 16 Dec 01 - 09:13 AM
Lin in Kansas 16 Dec 01 - 07:25 PM
Joe Offer 16 Dec 01 - 07:48 PM
Deda 16 Dec 01 - 08:05 PM
GUEST,pramsden.lockjaw@ntlworld.com 23 Oct 02 - 09:35 AM
GUEST,charles.benson@ntlworld.com 31 Oct 02 - 02:21 PM
Joe Offer 31 Oct 02 - 08:02 PM
GUEST,Clamoring for one meatball 04 Jul 04 - 01:11 AM
GUEST,russellk@gte.net 25 Aug 04 - 01:38 PM
GUEST,MARTY H. 07 Mar 05 - 12:04 PM
GUEST,Cindy P. 30 Jun 05 - 09:57 AM
GUEST,Paul Burke 01 Jul 05 - 04:14 AM
GUEST,Bernard Samstag, ex-Pittsburgher 02 Jun 11 - 09:27 PM
GUEST,Ralphie 03 Jun 11 - 05:20 AM
GUEST,GUEST Manuel 05 Mar 15 - 06:04 AM
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Subject: Burl Ives songs
From: Bill Butcher, McLean, VA
Date: 16 Feb 99 - 04:31 PM

Can you help me with the words to "One Meat Ball" and other Burl Ives songs??


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Subject: One Meat Ball - Burl Ives
From: Bill Butcher
Date: 16 Feb 99 - 04:37 PM

Can you help me with the words to One Meat Ball and other Burl Ives songs??


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Subject: RE: One Meat Ball - Burl Ives
From: Bruce O.
Date: 16 Feb 99 - 05:20 PM

See 'LONE FISH-BALL', 1855, (use bibliographical search) in the Levy sheet music collection (Mudcat's Links)


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Subject: Lyr Add: ONE MEATBALL (Burl Ives)^^
From: harpgirl
Date: 16 Feb 99 - 05:36 PM

Here it is Bill B,
I learned it from my dear friend, the late Marty Schuman. I always wondered where he heard it...harpgirl

One Meatball

A little man walked round and round
he found an eatin place in town
he looked the menu through and through
to see what fifteen cents could do

one meatball one meatball
he could afford but one meatball

He told the waiter near at hand
a simple dinner he had planned
the waiter hollered down the hall
this here gent wants one meatball

one meatball one meatball
this here gent wants one meatball

This little man felt ill at ease
he said some bread sir if you please
the guests were startled one and all
to hear that waiter loudly call

one meatball one meatball
you get no bread with one meatball

this little man felt very sad
one meatball was all he had
and in his dreams he hears that call
you get no bread with one meatball

one meatball one meatball
you get no bread with one meatball

and in his dreams he heard that call
you get no bread with one meatball
one meatball one meatball
you get no bread with one meatball

^^


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Subject: RE: One Meat Ball - Burl Ives
From: Roger in Baltimore
Date: 16 Feb 99 - 07:56 PM

This was also a signature tune for Josh White (click here).

Roger in Baltimore


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Subject: RE: One Meat Ball - Burl Ives
From: rich r
Date: 16 Feb 99 - 08:27 PM

This subject came up about 2 years ago. Interestingly there is still not a version of it in the DT. Go to Forum Search and type in "meatball". Two threads of most immediate interest (words, variations, historical background etc) are the one beginning on Dec 25, 1996 and a second one from May 7, 1997

rich r


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Subject: RE: One Meat Ball - Burl Ives
From: Ferrara
Date: 17 Feb 99 - 09:21 AM

How about starting a new thread asking for some of the other Burl Ives songs you're interested in? I think I have a B.I. songbook, and Bill says he has several records and books.


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Subject: Lyr/Tune Add: THE LONE FISH-BALL
From: Joe Offer
Date: 30 May 99 - 03:59 AM

I think this may be earlier than the "One Meatball" we're familiar with.
-Joe Offer- (JRO)

The Lone Fish-Ball
(from Heartsongs, 1909)

There was a man went up and down
To seek a dinner thro’ the town.
There was a man went up and down
To seek a dinner thro’ the town.
(repeat words of stanza each time)

What wretch is he who wife forsakes
Who best of jam and waffles makes?

He feels his cash to know his pence,
And finds he had but just six cents.

He finds at last a right cheap place.
And enters in with modest face.

The bill of fare he searches through,
To see what his six cents will do.

The cheapest viand of them all
Is "Twelve and a half cents for two Fish-balls."

The waiter he to him doth call,
And gently whispers, "One Fish-ball."

The waiter roars it through the hall,
The guests they start at "one Fish-ball."

The guest then says, quite ill at ease,
"A piece of bread, sir, if you please."

The waiter roars it through the hall,
"We don’t give bread with one Fish-ball."

MORAL

Who would have bread with his Fish-ball,
Must get it first, or not at all.

Who would Fish-ball with fixin’s eat,
Must get some friend to stand the treat.

MIDI file: ONEFIS~1.MID

Timebase: 192

Name: The Lone Fish-Ball
Text: By Songwriter unknown
Copyright: (from "Heartsongs," 1909)
Key: Eb
TimeSig: 3/4 24 8
Start
0000 1 70 110 0094 0 70 000 0002 1 70 110 0094 0 70 000 0002 1 70 110 0094 0 70 000 0002 1 67 110 0256 0 67 000 0032 1 70 110 0094 0 70 000 0002 1 68 110 0094 0 68 000 0002 1 68 110 0094 0 68 000 0002 1 65 110 0256 0 65 000 0032 1 68 110 0094 0 68 000 0002 1 68 110 0094 0 68 000 0002 1 68 110 0094 0 68 000 0002 1 65 110 0256 0 65 000 0032 1 72 110 0094 0 72 000 0002 1 70 110 0094 0 70 000 0002 1 68 110 0094 0 68 000 0002 1 67 110 0096 0 67 000 0000 1 75 110 0096 0 75 000 0000 1 70 110 0094 0 70 000 0002 1 70 110 0094 0 70 000 0002 1 70 110 0094 0 70 000 0002 1 70 110 0094 0 70 000 0002 1 67 110 0256 0 67 000 0032 1 70 110 0094 0 70 000 0002 1 68 110 0094 0 68 000 0002 1 68 110 0094 0 68 000 0002 1 65 110 0256 0 65 000 0032 1 68 110 0094 0 68 000 0002 1 68 110 0094 0 68 000 0002 1 68 110 0094 0 68 000 0002 1 65 110 0094 0 65 000 0002 1 72 110 0094 0 72 000 0002 1 70 110 0094 0 70 000 0002 1 62 110 0094 0 62 000 0002 1 63 110 0160 0 63 000
End

This program is worth the effort of learning it.

To download the March 10 MIDItext 98 software and get instructions on how to use it click here

ABC format:

X:1
T:The Lone Fish-Ball
M:3/4
Q:1/4=120
K:Eb
BBBG3|BAAF3|AAAF3|cBAGeB|BBBG3|BAAF3|AAAFcB|
DE7/4||


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Subject: RE: One Meat Ball - Burl Ives
From: Roger in Baltimore
Date: 30 May 99 - 08:10 AM

Ah, the folk-process.

Big RiB


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Subject: RE: One Meat Ball - Burl Ives
From: Easy Rider
Date: 09 Jun 99 - 11:22 AM

Dave Van Ronk did a great version of this song, on an old record I have. My father used to sing it. He probably learned it off a Burl Ives record.

I'll transcribe the words, if they are different from what is here alredy. Does anybody have guitar TAB?

EZR


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Subject: RE: One Meat Ball - Burl Ives
From: woody
Date: 09 Jun 99 - 09:10 PM

homespun has a recent video by Josh White Jr. one of the songs included is His dad"s version of "one meatball".You can find at www.homespun.com.


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Subject: RE: One Meat Ball - Burl Ives
From: woody
Date: 09 Jun 99 - 09:14 PM

Sorry Bill , that should have been www.homespuntapes.com


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Subject: RE: One Meat Ball - Burl Ives
From: murray@mpce.mq.edu.au
Date: 10 Jun 99 - 07:56 AM

I think I remember the Andrew Sisters singing it in the 40s.

Murray


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Subject: RE: One Meat Ball - Burl Ives
From: GUEST,thasting1@home.com
Date: 26 Feb 01 - 10:33 PM

Please help me with the lyrics to Big Rock Candy Mountain sond from childhood and recently the movie Oh Brother Where Art Thou?
E-Mail reply sent -Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: One Meat Ball - Burl Ives
From: GUEST,Bruce O.
Date: 27 Feb 01 - 02:32 AM

For "Big Rock Candy Mountain" and its history see Hal Ramel's 'Nowhere in America, and Other Comic Utopias'. Compare with the 17th century "An Invitation to Lubberland" in the Scarce Songs 1 file on my website. That seems to be where the rock candy mountain first apeared.


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Subject: RE: One Meat Ball - Burl Ives
From: GUEST,fox4zero
Date: 27 Feb 01 - 03:48 AM

The most popular rendition of One Meatball was undoubtedly Louis Prima....prob 1940's or 50's Larry Parish


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Subject: RE: One Meat Ball - Burl Ives
From: GUEST,Roll&Go-C
Date: 27 Feb 01 - 01:15 PM

Joe and others seem to have covered almost anything I could add about one meatball and one fishball, except a parody verse of "After the Ball was Over" from READ 'EM AND WEEP:

After the ball is over, Mary takes out her glass eye,
Puts her false teeth in cold water, corks up her bottle of dye,
Throws her cork leg in the corner, hangs up her wig on the wall,
Then what is left goes to by-low, after the ball.


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Subject: Chords Add: ONE MEATBALL
From: Tiger
Date: 27 Feb 01 - 06:26 PM

There are different versions, tempos, etc. for this song. The C7 (I guess that's what you'd call it) is played in same formation as B7 (first position), but one fret up. You could also play it in A7 formation on the fifth fret.

One Meatball (Josh White/Dave Van Ronk combined version)

INTRO (2x)
Em D C7 B7

A [Em]little man walked [B7]up and down,
To find an eating [Em]place in town,
He read the [Em7]menu [A]through and through,
To [B7]see what fifteen cents could do.

    [Em]One meat-[D]ball, [C7] [B7]
    [Em]one meat-[D]ball, [C7] [B7]
    [B7]He could afford but [Em]one meat-[D]ball. [C7] [B7]


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Subject: RE: One Meat Ball - Burl Ives
From: Tiger
Date: 01 Apr 01 - 12:53 PM

Just noticed - that last line should be:

    [Em]He could afford but [B7]one meat-[Em]ball. [D] [C7] [B7]


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Subject: RE: One Meat Ball - Burl Ives
From: Mudlark
Date: 01 Apr 01 - 02:31 PM

I don't remember the rest of it but the version that I heard as a kid had the chorus line

One meatball...calls for another

and the vague recollection that it might have been an early nat king cole recording...


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Subject: RE: One Meat Ball - Burl Ives
From: GUEST,Roll&Go-C
Date: 01 Apr 01 - 05:40 PM

Please! Let this thread die! I've always HATED this song. And what's worse than warmed up "Meatball", grumble, grumble?


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Subject: RE: One Meat Ball - Burl Ives
From: Stewie
Date: 01 Apr 01 - 06:53 PM

I dunno, Roy Book Binder warmed it over very nicely on his 'The Hillbilly Blues Cats' album, sauced by some very tasty blues harp from someone rejoicing in the monicker of Rock Bottom - plus dolorous vocal from Roy and nice bass from Billy Ochoa.

--Stewie.


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Subject: RE: One Meat Ball - Burl Ives
From: simon-pierre
Date: 01 Apr 01 - 09:51 PM

I like the song - I know it by Dave Van Ronk. A big thanks for the chords, Tiger.


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Subject: RE: One Meat Ball - Burl Ives
From: Joe_F
Date: 14 Dec 01 - 07:35 PM

IIRC, this song has the honor of having been translated into Italian by no less a person than Francis James Child. I suppose that makes it a Child ballad, at least in Italy.


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Subject: RE: One Meat Ball - Burl Ives
From: RoyH (Burl)
Date: 15 Dec 01 - 12:31 PM

So far as I know Burl Ives never sang this song. But Josh White certainly did. He had something of a hit with it. Others followed with their versions, but it remains a Josh White song to me. Burl Ives? I don't think so.


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Subject: RE: One Meat Ball - Burl Ives
From: Ned Ludd
Date: 15 Dec 01 - 05:19 PM

The meat ball song I remember from childhood was sung to 'On top of old Smokey' and began 'on top of Sphagetti' Anyone remember that?


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Subject: RE: One Meat Ball - Burl Ives
From: Susan of DT
Date: 15 Dec 01 - 11:52 PM

dick greenhaus here

J. Francis Child's opus was no mere translation--it was a full light opera, called Il Pescabello!


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Subject: RE: One Meat Ball - Burl Ives
From: Green Man
Date: 16 Dec 01 - 04:23 AM

I have a Ry Cooder version of this


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Subject: RE: One Meat Ball - Burl Ives
From: Herga Kitty
Date: 16 Dec 01 - 09:13 AM

Ned Ludd

Something on the lines of ....

On top of spaghetti/ All covered with cheese / I lost my poor meatball / When somebody sneezed

It rolled off the table / And onto the floor / And then my poor meatball / Rolled out of the door

It rolled in the garden / And under a bush / And then my poor meatball / Was nothing but mush

(Must be from north of Watford to rhyme bush and mush.)

Kitty


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Subject: RE: One Meat Ball - Burl Ives
From: Lin in Kansas
Date: 16 Dec 01 - 07:25 PM

This comes from The Josh White Songbook, Quadrangle Books, Chicago (1963):

"The tragicomic song of a man without enough money to buy the meal he wanted. This version was adapted and composed by Hy Zaret and Lou Singer in 1944, and thereafter Josh was the chief popularizer of the song. According to the folklorist Kenneth S. Goldstein, a Latin Professor at Harvard had written a ditty in 1850 called 'The Lay of One Fishball.' Twelve years later, Francis James Child, the great authority on British ballads, composed a burlesque operetta in Italian on the song, called 'Il Pesceballo.' The 'mock operetta' was translated into English by James Russell Lowell, the famous poet, and performed in Cambridge for the benefit of Union soldiers in the Civil War. The song and opera then dropped into obscurity, until 1944."

--Commentary by Robert Shelton

_______________

This is one of the "tunes wanted." I've sent a Noteworthy file to MMario for eventual inclusion in the DT.

Lin


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Subject: RE: One Meat Ball - Burl Ives
From: Joe Offer
Date: 16 Dec 01 - 07:48 PM

Tom Glaser's On Top of Spaghetti is in the Digital Tradition.

I've heard two tunes for "One Meat Ball." One is the "Fishball" tune I posted above, which sounds kind of like an Italian opera parody to me. The other is Josh White's bluesy tune, which I like much better but can't sing.
I do not have a credible blues voice. Too nice a guy, I guess. I leave that sort of thing to Max.
I can picture Burl Ives singing the Italian-style tune, but not the Josh White version - haven't found any evidence that Ives recorded either version.
-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: One Meat Ball - Burl Ives
From: Deda
Date: 16 Dec 01 - 08:05 PM

The "On top of Spaghetti" lyrics were covered in an earlier thread about songs you sang as a child. Probably a series of threads.

I grew up listening to Burl Ives, and I still have a bunch of old LPs, scratchy and beloved: BI sings songs of Ireland, songs of the Sea (or maybe the title is Down to the Sea in Ships), songs for and about men, plus a couple of children's LPs -- songs about whales, ducks, etc. I also have the in memoriam CD which includes Goober peas and a few other notables of his. He was a great popularizer of many, many folk songs, of all kinds -- but when I saw "Oh Brother Where Art Thou" the older "original" (?) lyrics to Big Rock Candy Mountain were a revelation, since I'd grown up on Burl Ives' version.


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Subject: RE: One Meat Ball - blues version
From: GUEST,pramsden.lockjaw@ntlworld.com
Date: 23 Oct 02 - 09:35 AM

does anybody out there have the piano music.      cheers pramsden


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Subject: RE: One Meat Ball - Burl Ives
From: GUEST,charles.benson@ntlworld.com
Date: 31 Oct 02 - 02:21 PM

The last message is the crucial one. I also am looking for the tune/piano music. The chords are all very well but, unless one has the record to hand, which I do not, they are not too helpful. Keep looking in your piano stools, guys.


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Subject: RE: One Meat Ball - Burl Ives
From: Joe Offer
Date: 31 Oct 02 - 08:02 PM

We have a tune for The Lone Fish Ball (click) in Mudcat MIDIs. I don't know if Ives used that tune for his "Meatball," but the Josh White tune is certainly different. If anybody wants to e-mail me a tune, I'll post it.

-Joe Offer (click to e-mail)-


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: One Meat Ball - Burl Ives
From: GUEST,Clamoring for one meatball
Date: 04 Jul 04 - 01:11 AM

Does anyone have a downloadable recording of this song?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: One Meat Ball - Burl Ives
From: GUEST,russellk@gte.net
Date: 25 Aug 04 - 01:38 PM

I had a recording of this when I was a kid (60s). It was on an album with other funny old songs, including "A Tisket, A Tasket', "Big Noise Blew in from Winnetka", "Open the Door, Richard", "Cement Mixer". It was definitely a different version than the one I have heard by Josh White, but the same tune.

Russell


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: One Meat Ball - Burl Ives
From: GUEST,MARTY H.
Date: 07 Mar 05 - 12:04 PM

In fifth grade in about 1944 we had a talent contest. I sang "As Time Goes By" if memory serves. I was used to winning. A new kid to our school named Morton sang "One Meat Ball" and won the contest. His version of the lyrics were burned into my brain. Here they are. After all these years I still remember, the agony of defeat.

A little man walked up and down, to see what he could see in town.
He walked into a friendly place and sat him down with manly grace.
He looked into the bill of fare to see what six odd pence could do him there.
He looked into the bill of fare to see what six odd pence could do him there.
He called the waiter down the hall and said, "Please, sir, just one meat ball."
He called the waiter down the hall and said, "Please, sir, just one meat ball."
The waiter roared it down the hall: "Dis guy here wants one meat ball!"
The waiter roared it down the hall: "Dis guy here wants one meat ball!"
The little man, now ill at ease: "A slice of bread, sir, if you please."
The little man, now ill at ease: "A slice of bread, sir, if you please."
The waiter roared it down the hall: "You gets no bread with one meat ball!"
The waiter roared it down the hall: "You gets no bread with one meat ball!"
And so the moral of it all: you gets no bread with one meat ball.
And so the moral of it all: you gets no bread with one meat ball.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: One Meat Ball - Burl Ives
From: GUEST,Cindy P.
Date: 30 Jun 05 - 09:57 AM

My uncle sang this song when I was a child...I didn't remember all the lyrics, but I strongly remember the last lines of his version, which aren't quoted above:

The little man then went outside,
And shot himself, and so he died
[something something something something]
You get no bread with one meatball.

As you might guess, waiter-humiliation-enduced suicide was very striking to a young child, and thus this stanza stuck in my head! Does anyone know the source of that version? Or maybe my uncle just made it up...


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: One Meat Ball - Burl Ives
From: GUEST,Paul Burke
Date: 01 Jul 05 - 04:14 AM

My dad used to sing that, the missing line is "there is a moral to it all". The tune was vaguely similar to Lily the Pink. No idea where he got it, he sang everything from sea shanties to opera via army and rugby songs and Irish stage weepies.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: One Meat Ball - Burl Ives
From: GUEST,Bernard Samstag, ex-Pittsburgher
Date: 02 Jun 11 - 09:27 PM

When this song was in vogue, and I was in the Third Grade, I was surprised to see that song in amongst all the other boring stuff we had to learn at St. George Catholic Grade School in Pittsburgh, PA. It probably was the original, since the last line read: "The waiter doth roar it through the hall, Thou gets no bread with one meatball." Burl Ives, or nobody else, ever sang those words, but we Third Graders did.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: One Meat Ball - Burl Ives
From: GUEST,Ralphie
Date: 03 Jun 11 - 05:20 AM

Talk about serendipity! Having just logged on, I see this thread, whilst listening to a demo of Threadbare Consorts version recorded in 1976!
For those who don't know, TC were a 4 part harmony band in the UK. Really popular in the 70's/80's.
Plans are afoot to put them back together after 30 odd years, And Meatballs are on the menu!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: One Meat Ball (Burl Ives)
From: GUEST,GUEST Manuel
Date: 05 Mar 15 - 06:04 AM

For me, the story ist put into a rather strange context:
In the seventies (last century),an american friend grew rather angry, when we (in Tübingen, germany) railed over MacDonalds as rainforest-destroyers etc. Not knowing the song, she argued:
"At least, you can have a meat ball with bread, a real meal for not so much money!"
Well, a few jears later, she was "assimilated" in Germany and railed the harder over this special way of life.


This thread has been attacked so heavily by spammers that it is temporarily closed. If you wish to post here, ask a moderator to open it for you. ---mudelf


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